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March 04, 2007


I wish you great success and happiness in your new (ad)venture.

Wow - was this a total surprise or more like steps in a decision-making process?
Jenn, your zone 5 MI-to-zone 8 AZ numbers are similar to my zone 5-IL to-zone 8 TX. Also, we moved about 1200 miles SW. You are undoubtedly in for some interesting times!

I've never been to Arizona, but have some friends and relatives near Phoenix. They're always bragging about plants they can grow. GardenWeb has a pretty active forum for SW gardeners, and I occasionally check it out.

Who knows what adventures lie ahead! Please take us along with you when you can.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Wow. I'm looking forward to posts about your gardening adventures. This should be interesting. I never imagined you in the desert.

A few months ago I visited friends near Wickenburg, and stopped by the G C on the way back.

Annie - this is one of those 'opportunity knocks, are you going to answer' sort of desicions. Very quick and very frightening. But there is work to spare out here, and a possibility that we may actually get a bit ahead, which would be wonderful. We really need to plan for our future, and it's way past our time for saving for retirement. In Michigan, I was resigned to working forever, out here I might have a few more options!

Bill - I've not seen the Grand Canyon. It's on my list for next winter as a weekend adventure.

I will certainly post my gardening lessons here: may my wisdom keep me from abject failures!

Right now it just feels like the right place to be. Ask me if I still feel this way come July or August!

Wow quite a contrast of environments. I remember people in the Midwest telling me that I wouldn't like the desert SW but they were wrong. I loved it. They said that nothing was growing there, a huge misconception as there are a great diversity of plants and critters. Will you do xeriscaping?

I was watching an episode of ThisOldHouse actually the part after the TOH episode where the guys go and help people with small projects. A guy in the desert bought a house with a lawn in front and back of the house! The worst part of it was that he was going to keep it and needed help with the automated sprinker system which was leaking copious amounts of water. At least he fixed the leak but what a waste of limited resources.

You'll love it there. Be sure to go to the desert museum in Tucson.

Ki -

I'll definately be looking at plants capable of handling the conditions. We'll see what I come up with.

I do want a lawn patch for the dogs... something about the size of those square kiddy pools will do. We'll see if I have the energy to maintain such a thing with greywater!

You'll have to build a cistern to collect rain water. They're doing a segment of TOH in Austin. They visited a green built house of largely recycled material and natural heating and cooling elements. What was interesting, they apparently have torrential rains and had a large cistern capable of collecting thousands of gallons of water which would be used to water the greenery. My brother-in-law who lives in NM is thinking of putting in a cistern. I think he collects rainwater in barrels now.

I read that the Rio Grande has only 0.1 percent of it's flow by the time it goes through the states that use the water.

That's a grand idea, Ki, but we will be in a rental for at least a year. Large-scale water storage isn't much of an option. My backyard is about 12 feet deep and only a little wider than the house, and there's an orange tree in the middle of it.

(reading about pruning citrus yesterday, I learned that citrus are actually shrubs, and not really tress. I may have to go and read up on the differences between the two)

The front yard isn't much better, and there's two ginormous palms in the middle of that area.

I believe that about the Rio Grande. You wouldn't believe the water consumption out here. And the water supply is brought in with open ditch systems. 120 degrees F, no humidity, and an open ditch carrying the water.

On one hand, I understand that they'd have to build absolutely enormous piping to get it underground and still grab the huge amounts of flash water, but it just boggles my mind how much water must just evaporate. And the businesses watering their grass at noon brings my crazy ranter out, too. What morons!

What a change from a garden in Michigan to a garden in Arizona, what an adventure that will be. Good Luck!

Jenn: My mother-in-law has been in Phoenix (winters only) for about 7-8 years. Her first house had lawn, her second house is 100% desert landscaping. You'll find your dog will get used to no grass, if you decide to go that way. Personally, I think the desert landscaping is beautiful.

Like Ki said, when you get the time, go to the Desert Botanical Garden in Tucson - the best I've ever seen. We don't have time this trip (I'm in Phoenix until Saturday), but I want to get back there next year.

Good luck!

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